Bob Myers has Klay jokes (notes & quotes from pre-Draft Zoom call)

Drafting older players?, rookies should have > 1-year window, Poole/JTA

Bob Myers’ pre-Draft Zoom call with Warriors media was at 2p and my flight to NYC was at 4p, meaning I had to login from the airport, plus later on the flight, Delta’s onboard WiFi wasn’t working so I didn’t get a chance to post the notes & quotes from the Q&A on this website until now.

But we still had real-time notes as well as some bonus audio on our Discord server (sign up here), to which Discord member Jonah had three fun takeaways below.

Video snippets will be on our YouTube channel (there are three, clickable and interspersed below), although I’m not sure how the rest will turn out as there was a super-loud family next to me in the area near BART at SFO, which surprisingly has done a good job of proactively making it a quieter airport. This family had a boy who wouldn’t shut up and some boxes of goods wrapped in plastic they decided to break down and put in their suitcases right in the middle of Myers speaking 🤷🏻‍♂️ and when they were done, a foreign traveler speaking loudly into her phone decided to plop down three seats away from me, who was huddled up in a corner across from the TSA office thinking I had found a nice little hideaway (the meditation room was closed, unfortunately).

As if I weren’t already taking enough Ls, I’m still unsure if I’ll actually get credentialed for the 2021 NBA Draft this Thursday, due to the more limited nature of things during the pandemic (e.g., the NBA Finals access was drastically reduced, especially for foreign reporters, due to COVID), but chances are, I’ll be in the building even if I don’t — knock on wood. General admission is $54, but heck, with two Lottery picks this is an historic Draft for the Golden State Warriors. We’ll see how our coverage pans out for that.

Takeaways — thanks to Jonah for being the muse on these, plus I do realize sometimes it’s hard to wade through the copious notes especially when each Myers interview averages about twenty minutes:

  • On the Klay Thompson comedy relief front, Myers: “Klay got traded 75 times by his third year in the league” and “Klay’s always been less engaged” in Draft chatter as compared to Stephen Curry and Draymond Green (stating the obvious).

  • Myers was pretty clear in talking about a few second-unit slots: Jordan Poole, of course, but also Juan Toscano-Anderson definitely have their roles carved out and were mentioned on more than one occasion, as Myers did some name-dropping in his answers about how a rookie could help this squad. No mentions of Damion Lee, Mike Mulder, or Eric Pascall, which should come as no surprise given the current depth chart.

  • On the topic of the age of the Draft pick and how the trend has been towards drafting 18- and 19-year-old picks: “We could draft a 22-year-old, we could draft a 23-year-old.” Nothing about a 24-year-old! Also, it was pretty clear that Myers does not expect any rookie to be able to make a big impact for the team. Best case is they earn playing time as a reserve and work into the rotation over time, as Myers name-dropped Steph, Klay, Dray, Andrew Wiggins, and Poole (again!).

The actual notes & quotes are below the following two other video snippets so far from Myers:

- how are you? “…Decisions are being made much closer to deadlines.”

- normal process vs COVID? “…this resembled pretty much a normal year…the media knows what we’re doing before we do…went to Miami…last year we were going everywhere…I like our picks, we have a lot of good voices in the room. It’s different having two Lotteey picks, we’re excited about it.”

- players having full seasons better: “it’s always better…this year wasn’t that easy either, getting to college games…that was the biggest challenge, scouting… going to college games, even going to foreign games…I was hoping to see conference tournaments…it was all cancelled.”

- workouts done, next 3 days: “coming to a decision…one guy tomorrow…didn’t come to fruition, we always want more…medical issues…elevate themselves or drop…I’ve been in that position as an agent…two or three days before they’ll say we can’t draft him…I need to get an MRI on his left hip…analytics have never played a bigger role…continue in that direction, so everything’s a little more sophisticated…I was on the phone with a college coach today…at some point you want to say okay that’s enough…what if we want to Draft a young guy at 7 (who do we Draft at 14?)…”

- evaluating G League Ignite: “Dunleavy…we had our G League team there…same way you watch it…it’s not the same as college but what does that mean?…analytics help, compare apples to apples…whether stats are inflated or deflated…some biases in there, some subjectivity…scouting the G League picks, that’s gonna be the norm…the way things are going…we got to two games in three days…not the same as college, it’s a different game.”

- urgency for trade, Steve/Dray, Steph/Klay: “got a text from Kerr at like 320a in the morning…Draymond and I spoke the other day. One year he actually sat in…Steph’s in a kind of different time zone…Klay’s always been less engaged…narrative that they’re involved and I’m trying to be defensive…it’s never easy…Klay being injured made it hard for us to see who we are…find guys that can play a little bit…limited in free agency…will veteran players want to come now with Klay coming back…the idea that we don’t want it to happen soon or Joe doesn’t want…”

- James and Nico: “last year was more difficult for everybody…draft a player, ideally you put him in summer league…learn our system…training camp…preseason…maybe you play like four games…last year, none of that happened. I think James practiced like one time before the regular season…he could do this he could do that but how does that fit?…we’re excited about player development…hard to figure…we have now a good foundation and hopefully some good lead time…having a summer league, a training camp and a preseason it’s really important…our system is not pick and roll and stand in the corner…Zaza…we need these young guys to pick it up asap.”

- use both guys? “Yeah…at 245p that could change…the league has never operated closer to the deadline than now…today we got some stuff that we never had discussed until today…I’m not gonna get a real offer until it’s real close to the Draft…right now, yeah, looks like we’re gonna Draft.”

- is it that specific, if this player is available at 7? “Yeah…I had three conversations this morning, is this trade on the clock?…(some depend) on how the Draft goes…there was a deal reported thirty minutes ago…we did the Monta Bogut deal a couple days before…(sometimes) it is predicated on who’s there…”

- 14 play right away? “We like more than 14. Who we get there has a chance to play…just cuz they’re old doesn’t mean they’re ready to play…challenge for us is, I was talking to Steph, idc who we Draft, is he gonna take minutes from Steph?…Klay?…you got Juan…James…Jordan…we’d like them to provide depth…beating out our top four five six guys (would be a challenge)…supplemental and play-able…he might give us eight minutes and next year he could start…window (might not be just one year)…disservice to say you got a one year window.what rotations Steve would like to use.”

- JP at Crawsover: “changed everything (Draft board)…(kidding)…get another player exactly like him…you can use those guys…you more look at can this player play, again, how complementary are they or not?…more importantly than the Draft…look at him (Poole) as part of our rotation…we’ve got more clarity, whether it’s play Juan, play Jordan…til Klay comes back, who actually starts? (JP or pick)…we think he can give us this and he might even give us that…we got to find out some stuff about who was who…”

- find player better than JP? “It’s all subjective…we like Jordan enough to pause at that question…I’m hoping whomever we take works as hard as Jordan…pretty criticized and not thought much of and turned it around, I credit Jordan and our coaching staff…”

- what return would it take in a trade to move off 7? “Has to really matter…I hope we’re not drafting 7 (?)…those picks have value to us, you gotta find a partner…to me it has to be something material.” 🚨

- age, 18-19 more: “not have a problem doing it…it’s not so much age being a negative…2015 and onward…it’s not so much old is bad…is this an exception to the rule…players 22 or older…you can say this guy is unique…just like analytics…or I say I like a 22 year old, well let me tell you the history of that…well this guy is different…it’s just information and you gotta decide how you want to value it.”

- move up? “Gonna be tough just in conversations…that’s just the league…you just saw a team move up to 10…you might be talking about moving up from us…they seem to be hanging on pretty tight but we’ll see what happens.”

- talked to Wise? “I haven’t directly. He’s here every day…Klay went through the same thing, Klay got traded 75 times…rare player these days that’s not mentioned in a trade…unless you’re somebody that’s untrade-able…there’s a ton of sources…a lot of it’s true but a lot of it isn’t. It’s bard to respond to all of that.”

- changes in rest such as baseball: “idk that we’ve figured it out…question that may never be answered…to get better you have to play…what’s the tipping point or what are the diminishing returns…Klay’s shoe measure the weight in each step 🚨…make the regular season matter…the play-in game…makes it more competitive…things like that are good.”

- Oubre: “I’ll talk to his agent…he was good…we haven’t really dug into that…focused on the Draft…seeing it’s a fit…hopefully he doesn’t rule that out completely…don’t begrudge any player for wanting to play, wanting to start…hear what he has to say…see if it works for both of us…right now it’s too early.”